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Steroid Probe May Be Growing

DEA searched Temecula home of bodybuilder and issued subpoenas at the Arnold Classic.

March 13, 2004|Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A raid on the home of a former bodybuilding champion may indicate federal authorities have expanded the scope of a steroid distribution probe that led to indictments against four men last month.

An agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration's Des Moines, Iowa, office traveled to California late last year to serve a search warrant at the Temecula home of Milos Sarcev, a former Mr. Yugoslavia.

Jose Martinez, the DEA's spokesman in Los Angeles, also said Friday that agents conducted an interview at the Gold's Gym in Fullerton that is owned by Sarcev.

Martinez said he did not know the purpose of the raid or the interview. ESPN the Magazine reported on its website that Sarcev has designed workouts for clients of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

BALCO founder Victor Conte and vice president James Valente, along with track coach Remi Korchemny and Greg Anderson, the personal trainer for Barry Bonds, have been charged with participating in a drug-distribution ring that provided steroids to professional athletes. All have pleaded innocent.

ESPN the Magazine also reported that a federal grand jury has been convened in Des Moines to look into the illegal distribution of steroids. The report quoted Sarcev's attorney, Rick Collins, as saying he was aware of that grand jury probe.

Al Overbaugh, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Des Moines, said he could neither confirm nor deny that a grand jury there was looking at steroid use.

Sarcev did not respond to e-mail and phone messages. Collins could not be contacted.

ESPN the Magazine also reported that subpoenas were served on several bodybuilders last weekend in Columbus, Ohio, at the Arnold Classic, a bodybuilding and weightlifting expo named for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger, who has acknowledged using steroids during his bodybuilding career, attended the expo. So did Conte, who was given permission by a judge to attend the event.

A federal grand jury in San Francisco issued indictments last month against Conte and the three other men. Dozens of professional athletes, ranging from Bonds to boxer Shane Mosley to track standout Marion Jones, testified before the grand jury.

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